Verkhovna Rada, the Ukrainian parliament has upheld the appeal to the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, which envisages tough sanctions against 112 Ukraine and NewsOne TV channels. The other draft decree which urged the Parliament to call off the appeal was declined.
On October 4, Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada urged the country’s National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine to introduce sanctions against several Ukrainian TV channels. 229 MPs supported the draft law No. 9157 on “Approval of recommendations to introduce personal special economic sanctions and other restrictive measures (sanctions)”.
CEO of 112 Ukraine TV channel Yegor Benkendorf stated that the attempt to stop the operation of 112 Ukraine is a part of a large-scale process and concerns an unsatisfactory situation with the respect of freedom of speech in Ukraine. According to him, 112 Ukraine TV channel has to confirm the impossibility to protect its rights independently by legal tools, and soon, it might lead to cessation of the broadcasting.
The appeal for support and protection was sent to the President of the European Commission Donald Tusk, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, the Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjørn Jagland, the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Liliane Maury-Pasquier, President of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe Marija Pejčinović Burić, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, Coordinator of the Europe and Central Asia Program of the Committee to Protect Journalists Nina Ognianova, General Secretary of the International Federation of Journalists Anthony Bellanger.
Moreover, the appeals were sent to the international organizations Human Rights Watch, Freedom House, Amnesty International, Reporters Without Borders and European Federation of Journalists.
112 Ukraine TV channel emphasizes again that it was following the principles of the journalistic work, giving an opportunity to express one’s opinion for all the Ukrainian politicians, the representatives of the governmental bodies and independent experts during its existence. Also, the channel does not avoid covering acute political and social issues, and such position of the TV channel cases and will cause opposition from individual politicians and political forces.
The staff of 112 Ukraine TV channel insists that the steps made by the Ukrainian Parliament, which aim to apply sanctions against 112 Ukraine TV channel are nothing but a political decision; there is not enough evidence to make such decision, which badly lacks argumentation and may be considered unconstitutional.